I’ve appeared on a ton of television shows like The Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN Headline News, ABC Nightline, 20/20, TLC’s Cake Boss, Pix11, Anderson Cooper and even did a hosting gig for Pier 1 and a pilot for the Bravo Network. Some of these segments went wonderfully, others were just shy of a crash-and-burn (at least in my perfectionist mindset). Here are a few of the things that I have learned along the way that I wish someone had told me before I did my first tv appearance.
1. What to Wear: Part 1. Wear solid colors. Patterns, especially small ones, are tough to look at on camera and lines (like pinstripes) become wavy lines. Stick with a solid color. Ladies, make your style statement with a necklace or earrings.
2. Makeup. Wear it! If you can’t have it done professionally, then wear evening-level makeup at the very least. You will feel like a drag queen but if you don’t, you risk looking like a psycho on screen. Gents, this goes for you too. Side Note: never assume that the news outlet will be providing you with hair and makeup, always arrive camera-ready.
3. What to Wear: Part 2. You can’t wear jangly things. They’ll hit your mic and/or cause trouble for the sound guys…ultimately you’ll probably be asked to remove them so just skip them in the first place.
4. Practice. Imagine the types of questions that the reporter will ask you and practice answering with concise sound-bites. Pretend it’s like Miss America and rehearse the perfect 15 second answer. The reporter will never ask you the questions you think they will, but at least you will know what you want to say. Since I’m naturally long-winded, I often need to practice for at least an hour or two the night before.
5. What to Wear: Part 3. Don’t wear white. There’s a thing called white balance (learn more here) that cameras need to do. If you wear white, you make the cameraperson’s job more difficult.
6. Memory Failure. Occasionally you might be given lines to read on camera. Don’t make the mistake of thinking “I’ve got a good memory, I’ll just skim them ahead of time!”because will remember absolutely nothing once the camera turns on (and probably end up crying to your husband in a car on the way home after the shoot.) Practice those lines until you know them cold – with different intonations, different speeds, frontwards and backwards. I usually have to spend at least a few hours memorizing just a paragraph or two of lines before a shoot.
7. What to Wear: Part 4. Wear something that your mic pack can easily hook to. Avoid having the clammy hands of a well-meaning sound guy down the back of your dress. Instead, wear a cute belt or separates.
8. Smiling. You will feel like a fool, but you need to smile or have a vague smile on your face at all times. Remember that hilarious viral video about a b*tchy resting face? Trust me – when it comes to tv, you will have a nervous resting face which translates to b*tchy for all the viewers. When practicing your answers (see #4 and #6), be sure to keep a smile or generally pleasant look on your face at all times. For references, study videos of your favorite newscasters.
9. Speak in sound bites. Start your answers with repeating the interviewer’s question (see example below)…it makes the tape easier to edit. Be concise with your responses and have a defined start and end. No ums, ahs or trailing off. Practice eliminating common words and phrases that we say in normal conversation like “you know?” and “like.”
Example Reporter Question: “What is a new trend in weddings today?”
Example Response: “A new trend in weddings today is bridal mohawks because…”
10. Other Details. Live TV is just what it sounds like – no messing up. Live to tape is the same thing – they won’t let you re-do anything. For taped (aka pre-recorded) segments, they can re-do things but it’s generally frowned upon. If you’re doing a remote interview where the reporter is in a different city, you will be locked into a small, windowless room with a camera, desk and an earpiece so you can hear their audio. They will give you a warning of when they’re about to start and you’ll hear the intro for your segment. Stare directly down the barrel of the camera and blink at a regular pace so you don’t look like a serial killer.
11. Bonus Tip! Have an opinion. Whatever you are being asked, take a side. Chances are you’re not running for office, so you won’t be taken to task over your opinion. If you are wishy-washy it makes for boring television. Take a stand and stick to it.
Did I miss any good television tips? Let me know in the comments.
Susana and Craig wanted to exchange vows in an intimate ceremony amongst family and their closest friends. They said “I do” in a stunning little church, and then went off to take photos around the city. Instead of having their guests wait around for the reception to start, they were treated to a bus tour of New York City. When everyone arrived to The Standard Hotel for cocktail hour, they were greeted by panoramic views of the The High Line and the NYC skyline, as well as a Jazz trio of Julliard performers. Stepping into The High Line room for dinner, guests took their seats at one of two long banquet tables that were adorned in contemporary succulent arrangements. After a dinner filled with heartfelt speeches, guests took to dancing the night away. When it was time to say goodbye, guests received oh so fun Mast Brother Chocolate favors and they were a total hit! The evening was timeless, just like our wonderful couple! Congratulations, Susana and Craig!
Thanks to Christian Oth Studios for the amazing pictures!
Liz and Chris we an amazing couple to work with! They truly wanted to create an unforgettable day, and make sure that all of their friends and family had the best time of their lives. The lovely couple decided to host on a beautiful evening in New Jersey at Chris’s hometown Country Club. The attention to all details allowed for it to be a flawless and sophisticated Wedding. Although they were in New Jersey, Liz and Chris made sure to pay homage to their current hometown, New York City. During cocktail hour guests were able to sip on drinks decorated by New York Giants and New York Yankees drink stirrers, and when they made their way over to the reception, instead of traditional table numbers, each table was labeled with one of the couple’s favorite NYC spot’s. They had a beautiful tented reception accompanied by a maple wood dance floor, and lush floral arrangements were everywhere. The night was concluded with a sparkler send off for the Bride and Groom! We were thrilled to have Liz and Chris’s Wedding featured on Style Me Pretty. If you missed it, make sure to check it out here. Congratulations Liz and Chris!
Thanks to Christian Oth Studios for the amazing photos!
We’ve been noticing a trend in wedding flowers, or a lack thereof. Brides are choosing unique bouquets made of unlikely items, such as trinkets and brooches. This trend has finally reached our grooms! Signature boutonnieres are becoming a must-have wedding item. Whether he doesn’t like flowers or just wants to express himself, there are plenty of new boutonniere options for grooms. The below photos are some of our favorites for the groom who wants to be a little different.
Photos courtesy of Fritts Rosenow.
I was delighted to be interviewed for Fox News Magazine, the official lifestyle magazine of the news network, on an article regarding wearing white to a rehearsal dinner. Find out the advice I gave here.
Keyhold backs on wedding dresses have been a hot style for brides this wedding season! These dresses are all about elegance. While the trend started with simple keyhole backs, we are now seeing sheer backs and cutouts in various shapes. This timeless feature can range from girl-next-door to ultra sexy, depending on the cut and material you choose. Will you try a keyhole back dress?
Katie and Jason were married on Labor Day weekend of 2011 and were fortunate to have some of the last good weather of the summer! Their First Look was done in and around Central Park, with some of NYC’s most iconic images, like hot dog carts and yellow cabs, drifting in and out of their photographs. Katie and Jason then went on to exchange “I Do’s” in an intimate ceremony at The Harold Pratt House on Park Avenue.
Afterwards, Katie and Jason made their way up the grand spiral staircase, along with their family and closest friends, to the candlelit library for cocktails. The reception took place across the hall in the elegant dining room. There, guests enjoyed delicious creations made by Park Avenue Catering. The pastel pink and white flower centerpieces by Rebecca Shepherd were the perfect compliment to the classic décor.
By the time the first dance began, it was clear that Katie and Jason couldn’t be happier together and Katie was all smiles as Jason twirled her around the dance floor. Later on, guests took a break from dancing to enjoy a decadent cake from Baked. It was a pleasure to be a part of this wonderful couple’s picture perfect day!
Photos courtesy of China Jorrin Photography
One of the hottest trends in bridal fashion is mismatched-but-coordinated bridesmaids. Many brides are foregoing the tradition of having all of their bridesmaids dress exactly alike. There are many ways to embrace this trend.
Same Dress, Mixed Accessories: The easiest is to have all of your bridesmaids dress in matching dresses, but to create interested with coordinating accessories or with different bouquets:
Different Dresses, Same Hue. For those that want to dive a little deeper in the mismatching trend, allowing your girls to choose there own dress and just picking a color that you like. The key is to give some guidance to your bridesmaids. For example, long or short? Do you care if the fabrics are different? The more flexible you are, the greater variety you will have in the dresses your girls choose.
Different Color Dresses. This final option is not for the faint of heart! Each bridesmaid has a completely different color dress. The best way to keep the look cohesive is to make one thing consistent, whether it is matching bouquets or accessories.
Image sources in order: Arrow and Apple, Jolynne Photography, Carl Zoch Photography, Kerry Morgan, Ruth Anne Photography, Ben Blood, HPM Photo, Bayly Moore, Jill Thomas Photography, Stephanie Williams Photography, Art by DNA, Stephanie Williams Photography, Caroline Tran, Dixie Pixel Photo, Emily Photo, Kellie Kano Photography, SohoMode Etsy Shop.
Gone are the days when a bouquet of white roses was the only choice for a bride. Brides are foregoing traditional floral bouquets in favor of bouquets made out of brooches, vegetables, and even…doorknobs! If a traditional floral bouquet isn’t your thing, check out these alternatives.
Marina & Tony got married on Memorial Day weekend of 2011 and truly lucked out with the best possible weather! It was sunny and downright warm, perfect May weather for this genuinely happy, light-hearted couple. They exchanged “I Do’s” during a gorgeous Greek Orthodox ceremony, complete with all of the special traditions of the faith – including my favorite, the crowns. Food, dancing and a fabulous party followed at the Mandarin Oriental, with Columbus Circle and the Central Park skyline as their backdrop. Their guests enjoyed a delectable cake from Kakes and dined among lush arrangements from Ariston Floral with lighting by JB Lighting. Thanks to Karin Von Voigtlander for the lovely photos.
Since their amazing wedding, they’ve both graduated with Masters degrees and moved to far-away Texas, but these two lovebirds were nothing but an absolute dream to work with and I’m so proud to have been part of their special day!